Please Grant Commutation For My Husband, Zareh Manjikian

Please Grant Commutation For My Husband, Zareh Manjikian

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Michelle Manjikian started this petition to Governor Gavin Newsom

My husband was charged and convicted of murder in the first degree in 2012 and sentenced to 50 years to life in the California Department of Corrections.  I want to start off this petition by stating that my husband was not and is not a gang member, nor does he have a prior criminal conviction.  Although he has been dealt a bad hand at life, he has always remained motivated and hopeful for a second chance at life.  His dedication to bettering himself as a person and a citizen of this country is both inspiring and admirable.  

Zareh did not have a fair trial to say the least.  Five eyewitnesses were asked to testify against him and his co-defendant, three of which lied under oath and later divulged that they had brought a weapon with them to the scene of the crime.  The prosecutor had also played some dirty tricks in order to obtain the conviction, such as questioning a defense witness outside of the scope of questioning and making inferences that were never presented in discovery based on a "hunch."  Despite filing motions for a mistrial based on prosecutorial misconduct, Zareh was ultimately found guilty and convicted of first degree murder and conspiracy to commit and assault in the first degree.  

Since his conviction, Zareh has participated in countless prison programs, higher education and counseling of troubled prisoners.  Zareh has been an inspiration to myself and helped me pursue my career and achieve my education goals.  His determination and dedication to becoming the best person he can be has been unwavering and beyond admirable.  Through the years, I have had the privilege to see Zareh become an incredible man who has the highest regard for this country and its laws.  He understands full and well that his view of the world was skewed and has made major strides into becoming a man I am proud of and am honored to call my husband.  

After seven years of Zareh's incarceration, the regulation against "lifers" receiving family visits changed, and we decided to get married.  We received our first family visit the following year and conceived a beautiful baby boy named Christopher who turned a year old this January.  Our son has brought about more determination and more hope in my husband than I have ever seen before.  He is planning for our son's future as if he were right here with us and it has been an incredible sight to see.  He is very involved in every decision of our son's life and never fails to praise me for raising him on my own.  

My request to each and every one of you is to allow this man to come home to us to help me raise our son and to begin a great future together.  Zareh is not only an inspiration to us but to every person he touches.  I receive calls regularly from former inmates who he came in contact with, telling me how much of an impact he had on their lives and how he motivates them to change and to do better.  His encouragement spans beyond those prison walls and he deserves to be out here applying his gift and touch more individuals who can turn their lives around.  I have always seen a light in Zareh and that light continues to brighten with each passing day.  Help me bring my husband and the father of my child home by signing this petition in support for him to get his sentence commuted by Governor Gavin Newsom. 

With great gratitude, 

Michelle Manjikian

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